Thursday, January 03, 2008

Expanding horizons: Grilled Salmon w/ Lime Butter Sauce!

Since rituals were the topic in the last post, let's continue the trend. If you were around last January reading this self-absorbed dining drivel, then first off let me thank you for your continued self-abusive behavior. Hopefully the food advice has made up for any intellectual scarring that may have occurred. Secondly, it popped into my mind that this IS January, the first month of a new year, which means that it is time once again for New Food Month in wineguyworld. Last year w and I made the commitment, in an attempt to expand our food horizons, to cook something new every dinner at home for the whole month. We did pretty well, too. I think we only had one non-original moment when a certain craving overtook us. Best of all we found some great new dishes to add to our regular repertoire. Of course we also had some meals where we were like "What the hell was that? Did they even cook the recipe before they published it?" Thankfully those experiences were in the minority, and there was much appreciation to be had. So this month, commencing with last night's super-delish salmon dinner, it is starting again. Follow along, and hopefully you'll find some inspiration along the way!

A quick note about last night's dinner: This was a really fresh, easy, and richly satisfying take on salmon. On a cold winter evening here in PDX, it was like a hit of summer with the grilled salmon topped by the bright lime butter and lime zest. It comes together in a snap, the little effort required is greatly rewarded, and it is absolutely dinner party worthy. We served it with Basmati rice and sautéed red chard and it killed. Plus, there's nothing like giving the finger to the nasty weather by firing up the grill in January!

Grilled Salmon with Lime Butter Sauce
from Gourmet Magazine
makes 6 servings.

6 (6-oz) pieces center-cut wild caught salmon fillet (about 1 inch thick) with skin
1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated fresh lime zest
6 tablespoons lime butter sauce (see below)

Prepare grill for cooking over medium-hot charcoal (moderate heat for gas).

Season salmon all over with salt and pepper, then grill, flesh sides down, on lightly oiled grill rack (covered only if using gas grill) 4 minutes. Turn fillets over and grill (covered only if using gas grill) until just cooked through, 4 to 6 minutes more. Sprinkle fillets with zest and top each with 1 tablespoon lime butter sauce.

Lime Butter Sauce
from Gourmet Magazine

It takes only 5 minutes to make this fantastic sauce.
Makes about 3/4 cup.

1 large garlic clove, chopped
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, melted

Purée garlic with lime juice, salt, and pepper in a blender until smooth. With motor running, add melted butter and blend until emulsified, about 30 seconds.

Cooks' Note: Lime butter sauce can be made 1 day ahead and chilled, covered. Stir before using. If making for two or four, cut back ingredients accordingly.

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